A common or garden lizard!

I am very fond of these lizards, which are common and easy to see in Thailand and elsewhere in Asia. The Changeable or Oriental Garden lizard, Calotes versicolor is a widespread lizard in Asia, from Iran to the Philippines, often seen in parks and gardens. It is very adaptable and prolific and has had no trouble in…

A trick of the tail!

When we look at an organism, we see a host of different adaptations which have evolved to improve or enhance the fitness and survival of that species. One such trait is the detachable tail of lizards. In a life or death moment, many lizards are able to shed all or part of their tail. The…

Lizard language

Flying lizards are a common group of agamids in southeast Asia. The Common Gliding Lizard, Draco Volans – also called the Javanese flying lizard – is found in Java and Bali (1). These photographs were taken in Bali Barat NP, so perhaps they should be called the Balinese flying lizard. The males have a very obvious,…

Dragons on the beach

There’s not an awful lot to say about Komodo dragons, other than the fact that they are a huge lizard – the biggest in the world – and give us an indication of the reptilian megafauna that once stalked the earth. They are not creatures I think anyone could find attractive. Respect, admiration and awe,…

A Balinese skink

I am very fond of skinks and it was a pleasure to see this beautiful creature on a number of occasions in Bali recently. They are however, rather shy and I only managed to get some decent photographs in one location: the Bali Mangrove forest walk. These lizards are kept as pets by some people,…

Bocage’s Wall Lizard

Bocage’s Wall Lizard (Podarcis bocagei) is only found in the NW corner of the Iberian Peninsula, including Galicia, Spain. It is a small lizard which is often seen on wooden broad-walks, where it pops up to bask in the sunshine. They quickly disappear beneath the planks when heavy footed humans get near! The sexes are differently coloured:…

Tame me a Tegu!

I came across quite a few tegus – large lizards – when visiting Iguazu National Park in northern Argentina. As far as I can tell, they are all the Argentine black and white tegu (Salvator merianae), also called the Argentine giant tegu (1). They wander round quite happily, despite the presence of large numbers of people coming…

Dragons in the park

The Southeast Asian water monitor, a large lizard called Varanus salvator subspecies macromaculatus, occurs throughout southern Asia and Southeast Asia. It can grow very large, apparently up to 3 m in length, although most adults are about 1.5 to 2 m long (1). Big enough! The males are larger than the females and can weigh up to 50 kg.…

Pholidosis: scale patterns

Pholidosis is a name used by zoologists to refer to the pattern or arrangement of scales on the bodies of animals such as reptiles. The pattern of scales on different parts of the body can be used by zoologists to separate closely related species. For example, ‘pholidotic patterns’ were used to separate two closely related…